Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Today in Black History: Celebrate Valentine's Day with Some Black Love

Brian's working tonight, so no music post from him. Instead, I give you a poem, a song, and another poem (and some art) celebrating black love. During Black History Month we focus so much on the struggle and oppression that we forget that black people have lived and loved, have built a life and history and culture.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Seen my lady home las' night,
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Hel' huh han' an' sque'z it tight,
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Hyeahd huh sigh a little sigh,
Seen a light gleam f'om huh eye,
An' a smile go flittin' by--
Jump back, honey, jump back.

Put my ahm aroun' huh wais',
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Raised huh lips an' took a tase,
Jump back, honey, jump back.
Love me, honey, love me true?
Love me well ez I love you?
An' she answe'd, "'Cose I do"--
Jump back, honey, jump back.
("Negro Love Song" by Paul Laurence Dunbar; art by William Johnson)

Remember back in the day
When everyone was black and conscious.
And down for the struggle.
Love brought us all together.
Just sittin’ back and talkin’.
Cultivating a positive vibe.
Blue lights in the basement.
Freedom was at hand and you could just taste it.
Everything was cool. Diggin’ on me diggin’ on you.
Everything was cool and brothers were singing
"Ain’t no woman like the one I got"
("Digging You Like an Old Soul Record" by Meshell NdegeOcello; art by Dana Chandler)

I could take the Harlem night
and wrap around you,
Take the neon lights and make a crown,
Take the Lenox Avenue busses,
Taxis, subways,
And for your love song tone their rumble down.
Take Harlem's heartbeat,
Make a drumbeat,
Put it on a record, let it whirl,
And while we listen to it play,
Dance with you till day--
Dance with you, my sweet brown Harlem girl.
("Jukebox Love Song" by Langston Hughes; art by Angela Hermida)


Alison said...

Mmm--This was really nice. I've really been enjoying all your Black History Month posts, but I've been too spent at the end of the day to comment. (I gave you a shout out tonight on Baxter Sez.)

Conseula said...

Thanks for the shout out. I've been practically too tired to do these posts (this one took nearly two hours), but it'd be a shame to quit now.

Babbie said...

Keep the posts coming, please! On the topic of black writers, have you ever encountered Langston Hughes's "Not What Was"? It's one of his later poems--really a fascinating one and enigmatic.

Conseula said...

Babbie--Thanks so much for the comment. I'm just about to do another post.